What to do if our landlord is about to lose the property due to a tax debt?

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What to do if our landlord is about to lose the property due to a tax debt?

We have rented the same place for 23 years. The landlord is now in tax debt. We are getting tax notices on our door and paying rent directly to the bank now. Landlord says we should sign another 6 month lease with him so that we cannot be kicked out in 30 days if it would come to that. We think we should not do this. Also, is there any way to recover our escrow? People are telling us that if he is that much in debt that we will loose it. We are very shaken up; as of last summer I lost my job and my husband and I are afraid no one will rent to us or sell to us without my added income.

Asked on August 12, 2011 Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written, it does not seem that the landlord will be losing the property due to unpaid property taxes. Rather, if you are paying rent directly to the bank, it seems that the landlord is not servicing the debt load for the property under the existing mortgage or trust deed.

If so, the landlord could lose the rental in a foreclosure. Naturally, you are concerned about where you would live if this happens.

Last year, a federal law was passed concerning the situation you are facing. If a tenant has a set term lease for a property and it is foreclosed upon, the tenant is allowed to stay in the rented unit until the end of the lease's term as long as the tenant is current on the monthly rental payments.

If the foreclosed rental is on a month-to-month lease, the tenant has 90 days written notice to vacate the unit from the new owner.

If the landlord loses the property in foreclosure, he or she is obligated to return your security deposit and last month's rent to either you or the new owner who obtained title to the rental via the foreclosure sale.

Good luck.


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